Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Subscribe

Archives



Mar 5, 2015
This week’s theme
Words using only one of the vowels

This week’s words
parastatal
defervescence
imprimis
poltroon

Words, language & more
Join us in our discussion forum:
Wordsmith Talk
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

poltroon

PRONUNCIATION:
(pol-TROON)

MEANING:
noun: An utter coward.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French poltron (coward), from Italian poltrone (lazy person), from Latin pullus (young animal). Ultimately from the Indo-European root pau- (few, little), which is also the source of few, foal, filly, pony, poor, pauper, poco, and catchpole. Earliest documented use: 1529.

USAGE:
“Against this backdrop, Bertuccelli offers a derisive portrait of officialdom. Administrators and doctors come across as poltroons.”
Richard Duckett; ‘Since Otar Left’ is Slow But Intriguing; Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Massachusetts); Dec 9, 2004.

See more usage examples of poltroon in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Scratch a pessimist and you find often a defender of privilege. -William Beveridge, economist and reformer (5 Mar 1879-1963)

A.Word.A.Day by email:

Subscribe

"The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."

The New York Times

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2015 Wordsmith